BWF Member Firm: TwoTwenty
Type of work/product(s) produced: Staircases
In April 2014, Two Twenty Stairs gained vacant possession of its brownfield 1.75-acre site located in a key strategic position between the M1 and M6. Their plan was to move from their old factory into purpose built premises more than twice the size; they had successfully doubled their business through the recession so needed the capacity.
TwoTwenty wanted to build a state of the art facility that provided an exceptional place for their employees to work, a place they would be proud to show off, and one that would transform productivity and energy efficiency. Throughout the inevitable disruption of building work and moving over to the new site, they needed to retain all their staff and ensure our customer service did not suffer – in particular, maintaining Two Twenty’s unique selling point of a two-week lead time on all orders which is twice the speed of the industry average.
They planned meticulously. Completion was scheduled for just six months later, in October 2014. In addition to the usual construction team they liaised with consultants regarding lighting, heat and energy consumption, extraction efficiency, lean manufacturing planning and renewable resources and ensured they had the full support of the local council and planning department at all times.
They had planned their move during September and October 2014. In September they increased working time and efficiency and produced a record month. In October they recorded their second biggest month in their business history (beaten only by the previous month!). By Christmas all of the little teething troubles had been resolved. Throughout making the move, planning and implementing the project, they produced a record financial year both in terms of sales and profit.
The new premises include a renewable heating and boiler system, solar PV, significant additional daylight (more than 20%), and individual PIR sensors on all the factory lights that mean they only come on if needed and only to the lux level required for the activity. In their first full financial year in the new office, Two Twenty has achieved a negative fuel bill – they actually make money rather than spend money on heat, light and power. This is even before the financial savings and environmental benefits of burning all of their hard and soft wood waste rather than paying to send it to landfill.
The process of procuring, building and managing the new building has itself been an exercise in supreme efficiency. But more than that, in terms of their ongoing business performance, the new facilities have facilitated everything they set out to do with lean production. Sales, profit and employee numbers have all increased significantly. They have retained all but one of their staff through the move and now offer flexible start and finish times to all of their employees.
Since the move they have also built another unit on the rest of the site (9,000 sq ft which is currently let out to the previous land owner) to further future proof their business and ensure our growth plans can be achieved.
The BWF Process Efficiency Award (sponsored by W16) recognises exceptional projects of this kind that have improved business performance.